ajc dbfThe AJC Decatur Book Festival has lined up plenty of free theater, music, chalk art and more for the third art|DBF, the arts-festival-within-the-book-festival held Labor Day weekend (Sept. 4-6) in downtown Decatur.

As is fitting, almost every performance planned has some connection to literature. The schedule:



10-10:45 a.m. The Secret Garden | Excerpts from Serenbe Playhouse’s world premiere drama based on the classic Frances Hodgson Burnett novel. At the Community Bandstand.

0010thewishingjar_653511-11:30 a.m. The Wishing Jar | Atlanta singer-songwriters Amber Humphries and Candi Shelton (at right) make music for families. Their first album, Until Tomorrow, a collection of lullabies, has a corresponding children’s book. Community Bandstand. Details HERE.

Noon-12:30 p.m. Happily Never After | A mini-musical from Imagine It! The Children’s Museum of Atlanta, in which twins Sky and Raven learn what it takes to create their own fairy tale. Community Bandstand.

alliance-theatre-play-cat12:30-1:15 p.m. Play the Play With Cat the Cat | A performance from the Alliance Theatre’s Theatre for the Very Young program. Based on Mo Willems’ Cat the Cat series. Decatur Recreation Center Studio.

1-1:30 p.m. The Great Gatsby Circus | Roving characters share scenes of drama, betrayal and secrecy through stiltwalking and acrobatics. Presented by the Imperial OPA Circus and 7 Stages. Community Bandstand. 

1:45-2:30 p.m. Tomorrow Is Another Day | A fictional look at the day before the movie Gone With the Wind premiered in Atlanta. Meet Margaret Mitchell and others. Presented by the Atlanta History Center. Decatur Library.

2:30-3 p.m. Storytelling | In English and French by Atlanta’s French-language theater company, Théâtre du Rêve. Community Bandstand.

doubt-thisseason3-3:45 p.m. Beyond Reasonable Doubt: The Troy Davis Project | A staged reading of scenes from Atlanta playwright Lee Nowell’s world premiere drama about the death penalty. Presented by Synchronicity Theatre. Historic Courthouse.

3:45-4:30 p.m. Cabaret | Serenbe Playhouse company members perform. Community Bandstand.


5:30-6:15 p.m. Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisdom | Narrative and photographs of more than 50 female church elders in the Mississippi Delta. Inspired by Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Alysia Burton Steele’s grandmother. Decatur First United Methodist Church chapel stage.



Noon-12:30 p.m. Storytelling | Join the High Museum of Art for activities related to its Seriously Silly! exhibition featuring the art and whimsy of children’s author Mo Willems. Community Bandstand and art|DBF Pavilion.

nancy-thisseason12:45-1:15 p.m. Fancy Nancy the Musical | Scenes, songs and dances from the musical based on the Fancy Nancy children’s book series. Presented by Synchronicity Theatre. Community Bandstand and art|DBF Pavilion.

1:30-1:45 p.m. Soul Food Cypher | Spoken word performed by emcees and invited audience members, freestyling on words and images inspired by the 2015 DBF.  Community Bandstand. Details HERE.

2:30-3:15 p.m. The Joy Luck Club interactive mah-jongg parlor | An interactive performance from 7 Stages and Found Stages theaters. Characters from the novel will serve tea, teach the game and share a story. Decatur Recreation Center Studio.

3:15-3:45 p.m. Mercy Street | Metro singer-songwriters Ashley Filip, Ben Wakeman and Allison Adams are Mercy Street, an acoustic trio that blends guitar, mandolin, ukelele and vocals. Community Bandstand.

CWWS_AGAIN_website4:30-5 p.m. Atlanta Shakespeare Company | Company members (at left), in costume, share some of the most famous scenes and monologues from the bard’s comedies, tragedies and histories. Community Bandstand.

Look, too, for pop-up performances by 7 Stages, the Imperial OPA Circus, the Atlanta Shakespeare Company, Atlanta Celli, Out of Hand Theater and the Guerrilla Haiku Movement.


About Kathy Janich

Kathy Janich is a longtime arts journalist who has been seeing, working in or writing about the performing arts for most of her life. She's a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, Americans for the Arts and the National Arts Marketing Project. Full disclosure: She’s also an artistic associate at Synchronicity Theatre.

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